Unique Storytelling At West End Temple


Veterans’ Journeys Home, a show that took the stage at Lincoln Center last week,  is coming to Rockaway for an exclusive one night engagement at West End Temple on Thursday, May 31 — and all are welcome.   

“In the Telling Care Cafe: Veterans' Journeys Home, attendees will hear the stories of four veterans, challenging the audience to deepen their understanding of the military and veteran experience,” Natalia Kozikowska, director of communications for Council Member Eric Ulrich, said.

They are true stories that put a spotlight on the U.S. military men and women’s unique situations of returning home and the challenges faced.  With the intent to start a conversation, the show fosters understanding and give veterans a chance to stand in front of their communities and tell their stories.

The Wurzweiler Care Cafe — from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University — partners with The Telling Project to put together stories of what it means to come home after war.  Set in a casual, cafe-type  atmosphere, the show exposes veterans’ compelling, sometimes harsh experiences—many of which are foreign to civilians.

As a bonus, social workers are on hand with resources to share with veterans and their families.

Here’s how it works: veterans and family members are interviewed and recorded by The Telling Project. From the conversations, script development is constructed.  Those veterans and veterans’ family members interested in participating in the show then take a four to eight week course in performance followed by four to eight weeks of rehearsals, culminating in a unique storytelling event.  

Founded by Jonathan Wei ten years ago, The Telling Project has  produced more than 40 original productions with more than 300 veterans nationwide in conjunction with co-creator, writer and director Max Rayneard.

Wurzweiler Care Cafe comes from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University whose motto is, “We don’t want to help you survive, we want to help you thrive.”

Telling Care Cafe: Veterans’ Journeys Home, is made possible by support from NYC Council members, Eric Ulrich and Ydanis Rodriguez.

“The Councilman funded this initiative while he was serving as chair of the veterans committee.  Performance is  free-of-charge. Councilman Ulrich is a proud supporter of our veterans and a proud supporter of the arts. These performances, which coincide with the week of Memorial Day, serve as an important reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform,” Kozikowska said. 

So when the barbeques are over, and the parade of vessels in Fleet Week have sailed in and out, all are invited to come to West End Temple for a theater experience that’s been described as poignant, moving and eye-opening and a reminder of the true meaning of Memorial Day. 

West End Temple is located at  14702 Newport Ave, Neponsit.  Call 718-738-1083 for more information. 

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